‘Vacation Deficit Disorder’: why you need a holiday, now!

I remember reading somewhere a while ago that Americans are suffering from ‘vacation deficit disorder’. Jesus, is it really a ‘disorder’? Talk about first world problems.

But seriously, let’s face it there’s every chance you are desperately in need of a holiday.

We all work really hard, don’t we? We look after our families/partners/relatives, we get sick, we get stressed, we get the shits and feel generally frazzled. It’s not just me, is it?

About two months ago, I honestly wanted to punch myself in face. To anyone who enquired I would bang on about how exhausted and sick I was and that I needed a holiday. And my highly annoying mantra was, “There’s no way I could take a holiday right now, we don’t have time, work is too busy, etc. etc. blahblablah”.

Urgh, what a pain in the ass.

I decided to break the cycle and just take a damn holiday. It’s NOT THAT HARD. Why do we make things harder for ourselves? Do we secretly enjoy punishing ourselves? Do we all have martyr complexes? Or does it end up being a lot of organising and hassle that just adds to our stress levels?

I don’t know all the reasons, but I do know that here at Champagne Cartel, we are big on making stuff happen anyway. We want you to take the time to nurture you. We want you to be refreshed and rejuvenated and an all-round better person, more totally excellent at managing the hustle and bustle of life.

We say, guilt is for suckers. So book that break TODAY! Read on for my hot tips on how to make it happen.



Accept there is probably never a great time to take a holiday.

Life always gets in the way. Just do it anyway.

Schedule it in. Today.

To do this you need your calendar and the calendar of any others to be consulted. The school key dates etc. Have it all with you on hand while you are negotiating. If you have to go away and work something out, you’ll just delay the holiday and decide it’s all too hard. Put in your work leave request the next day and hope for the best!

Decide on the type of holiday you need (or can afford).

We had decided on a holiday location (a quiet beach town about 3 hours drive away) but I wasn’t sure whether we’d go camping or a house or whatever. So I emailed a few friends with families and invited people to come along. One family was available so we worked together and decided to get a beach house, which worked out to be great value for 4 adults and 4 kids.

Get organised.

I normally would be quite organised for my holiday, starting my to-do list weeks out and packing stuff well ahead of time. This time everyone was down with a  brutal bug for two weeks prior to the departure date. So I ended up doing things at the last minute. Not ideal, but one day of pain for days and days of pleasure is okay in my books.

But ideally, here is what I would do (for a beach holiday that involves a car trip):

  1. Write a comprehensive to-do list.
  2. Write a detailed shopping list and do an online shop a day or two before you leave. That way you are not overloading the fridge or cupboard with holiday stuff. Pack the cupboard stuff straight from the bags into plastic tubs with lids that stack well for travelling.
  3. I have a plastic box of holiday items that I keep in the shed and pull out when we’re ready to pack the car. The box includes washing liquid, matches, torch, washing powder, salt and pepper, hand wash, clean tea towels, sponges, scourers, cleaning spray, sunscreen, bug repellant, citronella candles, mozzie coils etc. The box gets restocked after each holiday and wacked back in the shed.
  4. Keep older sheets, towels, washers etc. in a part of the cupboard so they are easy to grab when you are packing for holidays.
  5. Keep various sized stripey “$2 shop” bags on hand for packing the random ephemera, such as the iPod stereo dock, the rice cooker and kids books.
  6. Train the children to pack their own bags. Clearly you need to do a pre-flight-check on this prior to leaving as they can pack some pretty moronic stuff. But I hold out hope that sometime soon they’ll have their shtick sorted and it’ll be one less thing to worry about.

Drive time.

Get up an hour earlier than you need on the day of the drive to your destination. Ideally the only thing left to pack on the day should be toiletries and the esky (hahahahaha). Make sure you have plenty of snacks for the kids and a small baggie of car toys (I usually include books, playing cards, plastic dinosaurs and insects, a tupperware container with lid of coins and other smallish things the baby can shake and put in and out of the box, lego, pens and paper). We usually upload a movie on the iPad and our eldest is allowed to watch that while the baby is napping. Then Wazza and I turn up the road trip choons and rock on (as only middle aged parents can)!


Our holiday was absolutely awesome. Sun, sea, sand. Giggling children, delicious meals, catching up with old friends doing things we love (drinking wine and playing pool), walking in the rainforest, whale watching, catching micro naps on the back deck, watching boats glide past. Mmmmmm. Why wouldn’t cha?!!!!



Do you need a holiday? What’s stopping you?

Let me know if this post has motivated you to take a break!!

Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.


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